Monday, February 23, 2015

The Writers Coffee Shop Presents: The Penthouse by F. Collyer Reed

Release Date: February 19 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Erotica
ISBN e-book:  978-1-61213-290-7  
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH
While having dinner one night in an upscale restaurant, three men well beyond middle age are entranced by a strikingly beautiful young woman who walks by on the arm of a man old enough to be her father. Her scent lingers, intoxicating the trio who stop eating and question how a man of their own age manages to enjoy the pleasures of such an enticing young thing. They wonder who he is, and who she is. As their plates of food grow cold, they decide that she’s too classy and wholesome to be anything other than a gold digger. And they decide they want one of their own.
Between them they can create the façade of one incredibly wealthy man. With access to a penthouse with art worth millions and a Rolls Royce, they decide to take turns being Man of the Evening. One will be a butler/cook. Another the chauffeur. The third a lonely, illusive, incredibly wealthy gentleman. They place a personal ad seeking a woman who dreams of the man they have created – and who doesn’t mind if he’s twice her age. A woman who will shop in trendy boutiques and department stores, and let the chauffeur carry her purchases, and in the evening entertain friends around the dining table, served by the butler.
Wayne Grossman woke up at 6:30 a.m. to the sound of silence. He lay in bed for several minutes, wondering if, now that he was retired, perhaps something was wrong with his hearing. Had he gone deaf overnight? Just then a distant siren wailed to confirm that his hearing was not faulty.
He sat on the edge of the bed to contemplate this odd development. Usually his wife was preparing breakfast by now, but there was no breakfast odor, no clatter of dishes in the kitchen.
He became aware of Helen lying on her side, facing him, one arm outside the blanket. It appeared as though she was fast asleep but there was no color in her face, no rise and fall of breathing.
Wayne sat there for some time, wondering what to do. Finally he said, “Helen.” When there was no response, he raised his voice a little. “Helen. Helen.” He bounced a bit on the edge of the bed. “Helen! Helen!”
When Helen still didn’t respond, he grabbed a handful of blanket and pulled. The way her arm was wrapped around the outside of the blanket caused her entire body to move with the blanket in an unnatural fashion. There was no separate movement of limbs. Helen was stiff as a board.
Wayne went into the bathroom. When he reappeared, he was freshly showered, shaved, and dressed in a dark brown suit, a white shirt, and a dark brown tie. He noted that Helen’s position hadn’t changed.
A creature of habit, Wayne went to the front door to find The Los Angeles Times. He tucked it under his arm and stepped out into his Toluca Lake neighborhood. He ate breakfast promptly at 7 each morning but since there was none waiting for him this morning, he went in search of breakfast.


You have a very colorful bio... did you draw from your upbringing as inspiration for this novel? In what ways were you able to draw parallels between real life and fiction or did you find this a hindrance?

My upbringing or lack of it, along with tough early years on the streets and eventually coming to terms with my own demons, provided me with the inspiration to write. Growing up in Catholic, Episcopal, Christian Holy Roller, military, and British preparatory boarding schools and state-run reform schools without a parent primed me for decades of born-again, devoted rebellion. I never stayed in one place long enough to have real friends or form a personality compatible with my peers, but I was accepted into a community of drug using enthusiast with dysfunctional backgrounds. Blind to the risks of what I was doing or the doomed lives of those who accepted me, I embraced it all. A line in the movie, The Unforgiven, said there are “men without character, not even bad character.” If nothing else those I associated with in my formative youth had character.

In a desperate attempt to be loved I paralleled my life with equally dysfunctional women with totally disastrous results. I managed to survive and I am indebted to those rich-in-character females who provide such wonderful material for me as a writer.

One unforgettable woman was a young prostitute I was seeing who lived on a houseboat in Sausalito, California. In the middle of the night a crazed man, maybe one with an emotional or physical connection to her, burst through her door and began smashing up her place with a hatchet. I thought I was going to die but she calmly got out of bed and threw him out.

On Valentine’s Day I picked her up in my ratty TR-3 sports car with a huge bouquet of flowers for her in the passenger seat. When she saw the flowers the joy on her face, as well as the night of the hatchet attack, were imprinted on my mind. She's probably dead by now but her character is unforgettable. We were two dysfunctional youths who looked to each other for the love we never received elsewhere.

Sometimes a scenario crashes into my consciousness. In The Penthouse the woman who owns the penthouse is real but the rest of the story is pure fiction. I can draw parallels between real life and fiction because my characters are composites of people I met or did drugs with in my youth. I zero in on people’s emotional demons and their dysfunctional relationships, especially men and women who fall into explosive sexual situations as they search for love in their fractured lives. I am quite comfortable pushing boundaries but, at times, I’m reined in by my editor.
One night some years ago I was camped in my VW bus in a remote high desert area of northern Nevada, banging away on my laptop by candlelight, working on a fictional story about a serial killer. I had to stop when I realized I was scaring the shit out of myself, all alone in the middle of nowhere. If I’m not moved by what I write, I can't expect it to move anyone else.

The older I get the more in touch with myself I get and the easier it is to draw upon the train wreck that used to be my life. With age comes wisdom. Real life scenarios can provide a story bank from which to create vivid characters and their stories. My stories are basically born from my past and deal with my own emotional demons and dysfunctional relationships. My advice to new writers? Write what you know.

freed F. Collyer Reed was born with the help of a doctor who certified the health of prostitutes in a Nevada brothel. Raised by his mother and numerous “aunts,” he remembers times when he awoke at night to see his mother engaged in her trade.
Eventually she married a wealthy miner client and they moved to San Francisco. His stepfather died when he was eight. In less than a decade his mother’s life had transformed from working at a rural Nevada brothel servicing mine owner-operators and ranchers to a life in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco where her son was a reminder of the past as well as a social liability. She sent him to various boarding and military schools, including a British finishing school, a Christian Holy Roller school (his words), Catholic Reform, and state reform school.
In Reed’s words, “I’m lucky to have lived through my youth. Any drug I liked I used in excess, and I liked them all.”
A sober Reed and his artist wife live on a cruising sailboat in the San Francisco Bay Area with her pit bull and a cat. When not writing, he’s an avid motorcyclist and shares his passion for bicycles and sailing with his wife.


HEA Blog Tours Presents: Forever In My Heart by Aleya Michelle

Author: Aleya Michelle
Series: My Heart, Book #3
Roxy & Kade have finally reunited.

Soul mates destined to be together...

Their magnetism drawing them back into each other's embrace was far too strong.

Their Happily Ever After is written in the stars and their hearts beat as one in unison... All is magical...

So what could happen that could shatter their plans of forever after?

What evil force will be the one to alter the path of happiness & bliss?

And can Kade & Roxy's Love withstand the chaos and turmoil that is heading their way?




Aleya Michelle
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia. 
Happily married and mother of 3 gorgeous and very active boys. A true lover of reading and escaping into a book, I love to write and find solace and escape through my characters and story lines.
So excited to finally publish my debut novel Breaking my Heart in May, Book 2 Healing my Heart was released September 17th.
The third and final book in My Heart Series is Forever in my Heart and is releasing February 20th.

Favorite past times include shopping, reading, going to the beach and seeing friends. 
Music is another great love.

Social media links:

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Review: In From The Cold by Nora Roberts

Title In From The Cold
Author Nora Roberts
Source Purchase from Amazon
Purchase Link AMAZON


A thrilling historical romance novella featuring the popular MacGregor family from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts.

In from the Cold follows the MacGregors during the American Revolution. Injured minuteman Ian MacGregor flees into the wilderness, where he finds refuge for his body and soul with Irish spitfire Alanna Flynn.


Wow what happened here??? I LOVED the McGregor series - I was so excited to see another book out about them. But WTH happened??

I hate to say this, especially since I REALLY didn't like OUTLANDER ... but OMFG could we have copied any more of that series in this???? Seriously?!?

UGH. Come on Ms. Roberts what is going on? This was like your best series out there and you just went and dumped all over it.

I get it was a novella so things tend to be rushed but geez ... this was RUSHED.

We go from hate to love in 2.2 page turns. Seriously? A marriage proposal that fast?

The main female character was so hot and cold I thought she was going through 'the change.'

I am just so ugh, so disappointed.

With as amazing as her books usually are this one just fell so short .....


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HEA Book Tours Presents: BLUSH by Anne Mercier

Author: Anne Mercier
Series: Rockstar Series #2
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
*WARNING* This is not a dark romance. There will be minimal angst or drama. There will be lots of laughs, frequent dropping of the F-bomb, and crazy monkey sex. 

You know how people say they woke up in Vegas married and you're like, how the hell could that possibly happen? Who does that? Well, us apparently… and the press is having a field day. 

Let's not even get started on the topic of my mother. Then there's my grandpa wanting to meet my new husband--that's not scary at all. On top of that, we're heading out on tour and I'm a nervous wreck--factor in the fact that Jesse's newly changed marital status doesn't seem to be an issue for the groupies. Nothing deters them. Not even the fact that I'm standing right there when they proposition him.

I can handle the press, my mom, and even my grandpa. But the women who are ruining my current mood of "happy", well, they've got another thing coming. It's time to put these women in their place because nobody messes with my happily ever after.

Lucy and Jesse continue in Blush, Rockstar #2.



~ The Rockstar Series ~

Author: Anne Mercier
Series: Rockstar Series, Book #1 
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance 
Jesse Kingston, the lead singer of Falling Down, is a tall, dark, and gorgeous temptation I don't want to resist.

I'm going to ignore all the warning signs and do what I normally wouldn't--I'm going to give in to my desire. I'm going to indulge my fantasies and give this sexy rocker what he wants and something he won't soon forget--me.

Is one time going to be enough? Will one weekend together end up changing this bad boy? Or will it end up changing me?

 Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Anne Mercier
First and foremost I am an avid reader of romance. I read every single day. Without reading I wouldn't be inspired to write. The same can be said about music. I started reading with Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown's LoveSwept titles forever ago and went from reading solely traditionally published to reading nearly all indie authors. I still read my Nora and a few others. A must.

I'm just a reader who likes to writes stories sometimes. I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

I'm a huge fan of music, chocolate, fruit, desserts, Fall, M. Shadows, Avenged Sevenfold, and Milo Ventimiglia

Social media Links:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Review: HEA Book Tours Presents: Every Heart by LK Collins

~ GIVEAWAY ~ a Rafflecopter giveaway ~ BLOG ~

Author: LK Collins
Sequel to EVERY SOUL
Genre: Erotic Romance
Love hurts. Life hurts.

But without the pain, there is no bliss.

I found bliss.

Then it was all taken away.

And though it hurt like hell to move on, I had to.

I learned to love again only because of Bain.

I found my bliss again.

Then in a split second, everything was put into jeopardy.

My world crashed down around me and this time I was faced with the hardest decision of my life, a decision I never dreamt of making.

A choice that seemed impossible.

With no good outcome.

That would hurt everyone I loved no matter what I did.

I didn’t want to make it. I couldn’t choose between my two loves.

So I fought the decision with everything I had, avoiding it until…

I was forced to decide.


This was a very different book. Usually when it starts out with a handful of characters you don't immediately think it is going to be a love triangle. Which was exactly what this story was. I haven't read a lot of love triangle books lately and I like the element of them because very rarely is their a happy ever after for all characters. And I like when the happy ever after isn't predictable.

This author wrote in a very simple style. I usually like simple. This time though the simple was too simple and it didn't keep me pulled into the story all of the time. It was easy to put the book down.

That being said, I was slightly curious as to which male won the girl. 

If you like a simple romance that has a very happy ever after you will probably love this book. I personally need more blood and guts I think.

Add to Goodreads



Start from the beginning with EVERY SOUL...

Author: LK Collins
Genre: Erotic Romance
When you lose the one person who grounds your existence, your whole world changes.

In life, it is said that everything happens for a reason. If that’s true, how can you explain death? Especially when it happens to someone so young, so beautiful, and so innocent? My name is Bain Adams, and I struggle with these thoughts every day. I’ve been through hell and back, somehow surviving the unimaginable. My sister took her life six months ago, and now, what’s left is a shell of the man I once was, a shadow of the person I used to be. Do I miss that life? Absolutely. But I miss her more, every day. I pray time will ease the pain and help my suffering while I search for the answers…but so far, nothing.

Happiness is something I knew so long ago, and now it’s nothing but a faint, distant recollection of the life I once had. My name is Arion LaSalle, and seven months ago my life was shredded to pieces when my fiancé disappeared while deployed. He never came home, burning a hindrance of pain and agony within my soul. For so long, I lived my life believing everything happens for a reason, until now. ‘Cause none of it makes any sense. Why Nate? Why only him? Since getting through each breath is a struggle, I put on a fake persona, pretending I’m someone I’m not, living my life recklessly. Because for me, it was all taken far too soon.

Add on Godreads

Amazon | Paperback

★ ★  EVERY LOVE, Book 3 is coming!! ★★

LK Collins

LK Collins is first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. She loves music and has openly admitted that she's addicted to it. Without the strength of the words from some of her favorite artists, what she does...would not be possible. She works the normal 9 to 5 like the rest of the world, but is fortunate that she's allowed to listen to music for eight hours a day. When she gets home, she turns into Superwoman; juggling the crazy world of being an indie author, a mom, and a wife. Both her daughter and her husband share names with famous presidents. Her husband is referred to by her readers as "the Prez", a name well deserved.

LK has had a passion for the worlds created by authors for as long as she can remember and with the support of the Prez, she has successfully self-published three titles in the Life. Destiny. Fate Series. While her books are erotica, they are also known for dramatic storylines that will keep the reader enthralled from page one.

Social media links:
Facebook | Amazon | Website | Goodreads

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Writers Coffee Shop Presents: Maybe by Amber Johnson

Amber L. Johnson


Release Date: February 12 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Romance / General / Contemporary / Erotica
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-371-3
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


Maybe-3D-Paperback-eReader Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again. Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a backseat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him. For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late. Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them. Maybe finding love is worth the risk.  

Maybe-3D-Book-Stack-1Walking toward him is like trudging through the deepest mud, but I hold my head high, my hands in my pockets and strides long. When I'm less than a foot away, his head turns toward me without lifting his chin, and he looks up from under his brows. The white smoke from his cigarette causes his eyes to nearly close before he pulls it from his lips and exhales upward into the air. I'm struck by how incredibly handsome he is in black wool and new jeans. I want to know if his skin feels hot under his clothes and if his back feels the same when I scratch fingernails across his spine. My fists clench in my coat pockets at the thought. This is going to be so much harder than I'd been prepared for.

AuthPhotA true child of music, Amber's parents surrounded her with the loudest beats they could find, molding her into a girl who found inspiration and meaning in lyrics and chords. Raised on John Hughes movies, Luck Dragons, and pirate ships, she dreamed of love and adventure. When Amber began to create her own world, she envisioned a place where Happy Ever Afters do exist. Since then, she has authored several romance novels, all of which focus on songs and the way they can touch people's lives. Music may not be able to fix a broken heart, but it can provide one hell of a soundtrack for healing. A full-time wife and mother with a full-time job, Amber finds her muse in everyday life and the people who bring her inspiration.      

~Guest Blog~

Why did you start writing novels, what got you into it?

I tried to write my first novel when I was 7 years old. I remember very distinctly that I was showing it to my mom and the only reaction she gave me was that I had spelled the name ‘Michael’ wrong. I guess you could say she was my first editor and critic. By the time I was in middle school I had started at least three more novels. I wanted to write books that were a cross between Sweet Valley High and Fear Street. Come to think of it, that would still be pretty bad ass, right?? But then I lost the drive for a while and got into other things. It wasn’t until I read the Twilight books that my love of reading returned, and with that, a fresh spark to tell my own stories.

For me, writing is therapeutic. I can take all these things that have happened in real life and I can bend them to make a relatable story, or change the ending to a happy one where there wasn’t one before.

Be sure to look for her other book!
Praise for Maybe
"The characters are fun, likable, and well done. It's such a feel good story with a wonderful romance. Honestly, if you want a good, easy read with a cast of characters that will make you laugh and cry, and a romance that will sweep you off your feet then give this book a read. You won't regret it. " - Jennifer

Monday, February 9, 2015

Release Day Blitz: HEA Book Tours Presents: Prisoner of Poseidon by Mary Bernsen

Author: Mary Bernsen
Series: Villain's Love #2
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Ursula knew no other life than one as a slave. Could the gentle touch of a stranger be enough to convince her there is more?

Sold to Poseidon at the age of seventeen, Ursula spent the next four years serving as his submissive concubine. She loves him with a fierce loyalty, but she dared to defy her king for the first time by refusing to kill a spirited young girl when he ordered it. Now, she must find the escaped trespasser and return her to Atlantis, or lose her own head.

In Greece she finds Hercules, the missing girl's former employer. He introduces Ursula to a world of new experiences and freedoms that she has never before known. Though thrilling and intoxicating, her new lifestyle could only be temporary. She must finish her quest and return to her master before she finds herself addicted to this new, softer love of a stranger.


He pulled me down to my knees, and pressed his lips against my ear. “I won't stop until I've saved you, Ursula.”

“I'm not yours to save,” I managed to whisper.

“Ah, but you are.”

“And how is that?”

He took hold of my waist and pivoted my body until it rested against his. My legs nearly gave out as my breasts molded against his strong, hard chest. I fixed my sight on the scenery behind him, afraid to even breathe.

“Somehow my soul has found itself tangled up in yours. I can't explain it any more than I can bring myself to ignore it.”

Mary Bernsen
Mary Bernsen is a southwest Florida native currently living in Punta Gorda with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband. She is the Amazon Best Selling Author of The Roman Mongrel, Healing The Bayou, and The Villain's Love Series. She spends her days creating characters on the good side of twenty-five because she is in serious denial about the fact that she is now on the bad side of it.

Social media links:


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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Review: Cold Cold Heart by Tami Hoag

Title: Cold Cold Heart
Author: Tami Hoag
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Buy Links AMAZON


#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag delivers a shocking stand-alone thriller

Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she defeated her attacker, but Dana is still physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred by her ordeal, with aftereffects including PTSD and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn’t provide the comfort she expects: She struggles to recognize family and childhood friends and begins experiencing dark flashbacks—but she’s not sure if they’re truly memories or side effects of her brain injury.

Dana decides to use her investigative skills to piece together her past and learns of the event that made her become a reporter in the first place: the disappearance of her best friend, Casey Grant, the summer after high school graduation. Looking at her past and the unsolved mystery through the dark filter of PTSD, old friends seem to be suspects, authority figures part of a cover-up. Dana begins to question everything she knows. What is real? What is imagined? Are we defined by what happens to us? And is the truth really something too terrible to be believed?


Loved this book! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

This story picked up right where The 9th Girl ended and man did I love every second of this novel! Ms. Hoag has a way of sucking you in and then just keeping you.

I was nervous when I realized that there wasn't going to be much of the original FBI team in the book. When authors stray from the characters I love it always makes me nervous.

But, it all went okay!

I kept trying to predict the ending of this book. I had about 15 different ideas on how the characters ended and NONE of them were right! I was finishing this book up at night and my husband said he all the sudden heard me call out "Jesus Christ!" with excitement and he thought something had happened. Well something DID HAPPEN! THE TWIST!

It was very, wow. I love how Tami Hoag always does that to me. Even after almost 20 years of reading her book she still has a way to throw me off course and bring a slam dunk in for her series.

I really loved Zombie Jane in her last book but Dana, a live actual victim was so much better. But I loved that they kept cross referencing the two stories. I love her sequels.

This year is going to be hard with all the books I couldn't wait to read with which will end up in my top 5. But I have a strong feeling this will. Because it just kept pulling me in and MAKING ME finish it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bottle of Emotion

It's hard ... waiting.

Having that thing called patience is almost impossible when the stuff you want the most is beyond your reach.

I have gone back and forth for the last six months thinking about writing down my emotions during the adoption process. One of my grandmothers thinks I should turn my husband and my experience into a book. I keep telling her, "I don't know grandma, that's a lot of work and this is really private." But then what else should I do when the only things on my mind are about adoption. My other writing has virtually stopped because I can't think about anything else.

I've had my newest attempt at a story A ZOMBIE'S LAIR up on the screen for about an hour and I haven't added one word to it. Instead I have surfed the endless websites for children who need homes. Looking for kids that seem to be the perfect fit in our little family.

So maybe now that I have started writing about what was actually on my mind the zombie muse can come back. But I doubt it.

We were informed last week that the children we were seeking to adopt were going to be going to another family. That was very hard to hear. We had been looking at these children's photo for seven weeks. We had been learning about them, thinking about them, praying for them for seven weeks.

Seven weeks - just to be told 'no.'

People will tell you "God has a plan for you." "It wasn't mean to be." Or my favorite, "This just means your kids are still out there."

And as much I agree with those statements - it doesn't make it any easier for us.

Friends say, "It's great those children have so many people who want them." And it absolutely is amazing for those children. But what about us? What about the other couples whose fate is still left in the hand of total strangers?

How do you just keep waiting?

You wouldn't think wanting to be a parent would be this hard, but it is. For those of us who can't have children the traditional way.

So this weekend my husband and I are going to an adoption event to meet children. The amount of emotion I am nervous about having to go through is almost petrifying. I mean, everyone has gone to the pet store or the mall when they are having 'adoption' days right? And those are just puppies and kitty's. How are we going to do this with little children who need mothers and fathers?

Growing up I knew I wanted to adopt because my mother was adopted. What I didn't plan was being an actual mother. In college I had my ten year plan. Of course that didn't include a husband or children. It was work work work, law school, bar exam, law practice. Then Economics, PhD, professor. I spent my early twenties planning for what never happened ....

Now ...

Now I would do anything just to have a family that consisted of two human children, not just my dog children.

I look at these photos of little girls. I never wanted a daughter. I used to say "I'm not a girlie-girl, what would I do with a daughter?" And looking at those photos I just want to open my arms to these girls and say "I want to be your mom."

Granted I am still worried as all hell at what I would do with a girl...Just today I had to ask one of my friends, "What's the name of that jewelry place that sells all the silver stuff..." She's like, "James Avery."

Yeah, I am doomed if I get a girl. God help her! But that's a challenge I totally and completely want. Hopefully if that does happen she likes a little sports and camping.

Sighs - I don't think getting this all out is going to help my zombie story line at all. But it did give me that release. My New Years resolution was supposed to be working on those personality traits that hinder my success. Patience being one of them.

No idea how I am going to manage this year.

And in two weeks for lent I'm giving up soda and candy .... and cussing.

Lord I am doomed!

So if you are reading this - and you have children. I hope you don't take them for granted. Because as easy as it looks for some to have the miracle of parenthood, for others it isn't that easy. It's a long road. And as my father keeps telling me, "It just means when your kids show up, it will mean that much more."